Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Safety of remaining troops paramount

Iain Lees-Galloway
Defence Spokesperson

22 August 2012

Safety of remaining troops paramount

The Prime Minister and Minister of Defence appear to be at odds over extending operations of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction into the Baghlan province of Afghanistan, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Two weeks ago John Key made a public announcement about the PRT extending patrols into Baghlan because of ‘a gap’ in security arrangements.

“Earlier today Jonathan Coleman was reported as saying the government needed a clear understanding of the risks defence personnel would be facing and the implications of wider patrolling versus other options before any decision on extending operations was made.

“Yet in the House this afternoon, when asked why the Government announced the commencement of patrols in Baghlan without that understanding, the Prime Minister rejected the claim.

“Mr Key and Mr Coleman are giving us two different stories. Either the role and safety of the PRT in Baghlan was clear before the announcement or it wasn’t. They can’t have it both ways.

“Whatever the truth, it is now up to the Government to set a firm date for the withdrawal of our troops and ensure the final months of their deployment are made as safe as possible.

“Withdrawal must be completed as soon as possible. Everyone accepts that doing so in an orderly fashion will take some time. But while our forces remain, improving their safety in an increasingly hostile situation must be John Key’s top priority.

“That means making sure members of the PRT are equipped with the necessary vehicles and weapons to counter attacks and defend themselves against opposing forces.

“Any extension of patrols should not take place until the equipment to do that job is available.

“In future it would be best if the Prime Minister did not signal the tactics that will be used by our armed forces, especially without the necessary facts to do so," said Iain Lees-Galloway.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Geo-political Posturing Over China’s Cyber Hacks, Plus The Weekly Playlist

The timing was one of the weirder aspects of this week’s cyber condemnation of China by the West. Why was this piece of political theatre being staged now? China (and Russia’s) sponsoring and/or condoning of semi-state and criminal hacker groups has been known about for nigh on a decade. More particularly, Microsoft had been alerted to the flaws in its Microsoft Exchange... More>>


Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>


Government: New Zealand Condemns Malicious Cyber Activity By Chinese State-sponsored Actors

New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious activity... More>>


Government: Commits $600,000 To Flood Recovery

The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort... More>>


NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels